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West Bloomfield Schools 'Must Remain Open' – What Do You Think?

After two school closures due to bus vandalism that incensed some parents, superintendent says schools will remain open if it happens again.

West Bloomfield Schools 'Must Remain Open' – What Do You Think? West Bloomfield Schools 'Must Remain Open' – What Do You Think?

Updated: 12:57 p.m., Friday, April 27

In an email to parents Thursday afternoon,  Superintendent JoAnn Andrees said a hypothetical event in the future that would compromise transportation would not close school.

The district has dealt with two school closures this calendar year due to bus vandalism;  and  It was reported that in both incidents, 18 out of 58 buses were damaged.

It's a decision that has drawn comments on in support and opposition.

"It's better than just canceling school," wrote and parent . "We walk to Gretchko anyway and I can easily drive my son to Scotch. Much more convenient than trying to work at home with three kids all day."

"It removes the incentive to vandalize the buses, under the assumption that kids do this to get out of school," wrote  parent . "I wholeheartedly agree ... I was disappointed in January that the district cancelled school, I was incensed when they did it again last week."

Others questioned the logic by which Andrees used to explain the situation, that the state Department of Education counts a "school day" as one when 70 percent of students are present. 

"Say the buses do get vandalized again, what is the school district going to do pray that 70% of students show up?" WBHS student  wrote. "I can almost guarantee we wouldn't hit that 70% mark... Then what would we do? Send everyone back home?"

said, "The only means of transportation to and from school for a lot of students in our district is their school buses. ... If this should happen again and school remains open, a lot of students, possibly as many as half, would not be in school that day."

"We have heard from many of you who have told us that you are more than willing to help transport your children to school, and we appreciate your cooperation in this matter," Andrees wrote. "All school learning, activities, and programs will continue as usual for our children."

Individual building principals will be in touch via email with further instructions, Andrees continued. The superintendent said last week that the district is in the process of upgrading security at the transportation building that was broken into. Orchard Lake Police said Friday there are no suspects.

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